After 15 years in the making, Walmart has announced to the city of Redlands the decision not to proceed with a proposed 256,614-square-foot supercenter on the land at San Bernardino Avenue and Tennessee Street, the multinational retail corporation confirmed to the Redlands Community News.
“We are very grateful for the support and professionalism of city leadership, the community and many others while we worked through the development process. We are committed to continuing our investment in our current stores in the Inland Empire – including our existing store in Redlands – and look forward to continuing to innovate our services and invest in improving our stores throughout the state,” said Tiffany Wilson, director of communications via email.
Wilson said that the decision not to proceed with the store in Redlands was part of a standard review process.
“We are evolving as a company. Our focus is to provide the right blend of e-commerce and physical stores for our customers who want to save money and save time. We continually review our portfolio to make sure we are achieving this long-term strategy and the decision not to build a store in Redlands is part of our standard review process,” said Wilson.
Mayor Paul Foster shared his disappointment with the decision but is “pleased that they will remain an active business partner in our city at their current location.”
In 2005, the city received plans to build the Redlands Crossing Project to be built on 33 acres. The project was quickly opposed by the Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition, which argued that the project violated Measure U, which regulated development.
The coalition filed two lawsuits ending in 2013 and 2014. Both failed. Appeals were also denied.
In October 2012, City Council voted 4-1 in favor of the project despite heavy opposition. Then-councilman Foster voted in favor of the project with the condition to modify the store hours of operation from 24/7 schedule to 6 a.m. to midnight.
U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, then mayor of Redlands, was the only no vote.
Since then, Walmart asked and received several one-year extensions for its conditional use permits and parcel map, with the last and final extension approved in April 2019. If Walmart would have opted to allow the extension to expire, it would have to submit an entirely new application to the city.
Foster said that now the land could be rezoned to allow residential development to meet the requirements of the state mandated housing production targets. That could be avoided with the passing of Measure G, which would encourage development within the Redlands Transit Villages Planning Area, he said.